Rhode Island’s Commerce Corporation aims to help Rhode Island businesses flourish. They support local businesses in many ways by providing lucrative incentives such as tax credits and grant programs. One such initiative is the Innovations Voucher program which offers grants to companies performing research and development in partnership with local universities, research centers, or medical centers. New in 2018, this grant can also be given to Rhode Island manufacturers to fund internal R&D projects at their manufacturing facilities.
The grant is available to Rhode Island small businesses with 500 or fewer employees in the state. Awarded vouchers can range from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the project. Similar to the federal research and development tax credit, the voucher must be used to fund new or more innovative products or processes. Businesses cannot use the grant money for ordinary and necessary business expenses such as marketing, website development, software purchases, etc.
Awarded vouchers can be used for the following activities:
- Technological development or exploration
- Product, service, or market development
- Services and activities including access to research or scientific expertise
- In-house research and development projects in a manufacturing facility
- Improved business practices that help grow the business and create operational efficiencies
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so it’s never too late to contact the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.